Abstract 1. We have studied the visual enhancement effect in two areas of the cerebral cortex of monkeys. The response of the cells to a visual stimulus was determined both when the monkey used the visual stimulus as the target for a saccadic eye movement and when he did not. 2. In striate cortex cells with nonoriented, simple, complex, and hypercomplex receptive-field types were studied. Clear enhancement of the response to the appropriate visual stimulus was seldom seen when the monkey used the stimulus as a target for a saccade. In addition, any enhancement effect seen was nonselective; it occurred whether the monkey made a saccade to the receptive-field stimulus or some other stimulus at a point distant from the receptive field. The enhancement also occurred whether the monkey made a saccade to the stimulus or just released the bar when the stimulus dimmed. 3. This nonselective enhancement in striate cortex is in striking contrast to the selective enhancement of the visual response seen in the superior colliculus. The different characteristics of the enhancement in striate cortex and the observation of enhancement in the colliculus following ablation of striate cortex suggest that this cortical area is an unlikely source of the collicular enhancement. 4. These observations reinforce the distinction between striate cortex and superior colliculus. Striate cortex is an excellent analyzer of stimulus characteristics but a poor evaluator of stimulus significance. The superior colliculus is an excellent evaluator but a poor analyzer. 5. The area of frontal eye fields in which cells have clear visual responses has been better localized. Enhancement of the visual response of these cells also occurs and, at least for some cells, the response enhancement is selective. The response enhancement, like the visual properties of these frontal eye field cells, appears to be more closely related to the properties of superior colliculus cells than to striate cortex cells. Copyright © 1976 the American Physiological Society
Journal of Neurophysiology – The American Physiological Society
Published: Jul 1, 1976
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